July 24, 2021: RC Aerobatics

By Jim Quinn

Let’s meet our Event Director for the 2021 RC Aerobatics Nats! Jon Dieringer was asked if he would like to become the Nats ED. It took all of 20 seconds for Jon to answer, “Yes.”

As he disconnected the line, he thought to himself, “What have I done?” In the weeks and months ahead, he contacted many people for advice. Monte Richard, a former ED himself, Charlie Barrera, the NSRCA president, and many of the AMA staff, to name a few.

July 23, 2021: RC Aerobatics

By Jim Quinn

After the long, 2-hour weather delay Wednesday, we all woke up to a sunny and clear morning for our second day of flying. It looked like a perfect morning. Little did anyone anticipate a new delay on day two.

A crop-dusting helicopter took over the sky at AMA, dusting all of the surrounding cornfields! As though our new ED didn’t have enough to deal with on our first day with the weather, now there was a helicopter in our airspace. Jon handled it well and within the hour, we were back in the air.

July 23, 2021: Indoor Free Flight

By Rob Romash

Nats Eve and a new day

As we filter through another full day, we realize it's half over?!?! Nearly.

Last time I showed some “focus” launch poses. What if your model doesn’t just go hypersonic and then either explodes or glides for about a minute? What if you had much more time?

Here are some favorite lounge poses. The most popular is the “laid back.” It's crazy how a firm, flat back feels after two days of being up, standing, and craning your neck up. Kudos to the artificial green stuff guys.

July 22, 2021: RC Aerobatics

By Jim Quinn

All preparations have been completed. Now it is time for flying.

Who will be the first pilot to test the sky over AMA’s IAC in 2021? Ken Velez was the first up on Site 3 after the better part of 2 hours of waiting for the sky to clear.

July 22, 2021: Science Olympiad Day at the Indoor Free Flight Nats

By Chuck Andraka

Wednesday, July 21, the National Free Flight Society (NFFS) leveraged its new relationship with Science Olympiad to host 18 students and 10 coaches from 10 middle schools and high schools, mostly from Michigan and Ohio, but also from as far as Austin. Science Olympiad is a scholastic science competition that includes an indoor flying event.

July 22, 2021: Indoor Free Flight

By Rob Romash

The doors open at 7 a.m. each day, and the competition starts at 9 a.m.

The building was a little slower filling Wednesday after folks settled in Tuesday.

It was an early arrival for me, and about a half-dozen others. We were greeting with a dimly lit space where the few models flying would blend into shadows in the ceiling in dawn conditions.

Soon after though, the lights were on and the air buzzed with high-speed launches of various balsa/carbon-fiber gliders.

July 21, 2021: RC Aerobatics

By Jim Quinn

The first day of the RC Aerobatic Nats is not a flying day. Day one is for registration, weighing all of the airplanes, and certifying the 2-meter maximum fuselage length and wingspan.

To expedite the registration, ED Jon Dieringer has enlisted great help joining him at the registration desk, like Tim Jesky, a legend on Site 1.

July 20, 2021: RC Aerobatics Preview

By Jim Quinn

AMA has published the “official” dates for this year’s Nats. The real question, however, is when did the Nats begin for the pilots?

Yes, they had to register before the deadline, they made transportation and living arrangements, they coordinated with friends, and many other things.

Many traffic delays caused my arrival at AMA’s IAC to be much later than was the plan. On arrival, the sun was setting, but that didn’t stop pilots from one extra trim flight. Bryan Hebert was flying his biplane on Site 3. Check out the setting sun.

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